The move will provide work permits and protection from deportation for those who “cannot safely return” to their home country. DHS said the designation is a result of ongoing armed conflict and extraordinary and temporary conditions in Ukraine that “prevent Ukrainian nationals, and those of no nationality who last habitually resided in Ukraine, from returning to Ukraine safely”.
Stakeholders in the US including Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, NAFSA and the American Council on Education called for authorities to extend Temporary Protected Status to Ukrainian students in the US.
Writing to the Departments of State and Department of Homeland Security, ACE president Ted Mitchell, asked for “as much flexibility and support as possible for Ukrainian students and scholars currently in the US, and for students and scholars seeking to leave Ukraine during the current crisis”.
The letter requested Ukrainian students on F-1 or J-1 visas, as well as those completing F-1 OPT or J-1 Academic Training, to “be offered flexibility regarding their current visas”.
“Some students and scholars may have seen their financial situation suddenly change”
“Some of these students and scholars may be close to the end of their program of study, research, or training, and may not be able to immediately return to their home country during a war,” Mitchell said.
“In addition, some students and scholars may have seen their financial situation suddenly change, and we ask for accommodations for those who must work while they undertake their studies in the US.”
On the announcement from March 3, secretary of homeland security Alejandro N. Mayorkas said in “extraordinary times”, the US will “continue to offer our support and protection to Ukrainian nationals”.
Under the designation, individuals who attempt to travel to the US after March 1 will not be eligible for Temporary Protected Status, the DHS added.